Arizona Teachers Talk Pay, Class Sizes, Possible Strike

By Mark Brodie
Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 12:59pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 1:00pm

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Josh Buckley, Michelle Doherty, Beth Maloney
Kaely Monahan/KJZZ
Josh Buckley (from left), Michelle Doherty and Beth Maloney.

Some teachers in the Pendergast School District in the West Valley are planning a sick-out Wednesday to protest at the state Capitol for higher pay.

That follows a “Wear Red for Ed” day teachers staged earlier this month, in an effort to bring attention to their low pay, high class sizes and other problems they say are leading teachers leaving the state — and the profession.

There are lots of different rankings of teacher pay by state across the country, but Arizona typically falls near the bottom of those lists. Last year’s budget included a 1 percent raise. Gov. Ducey has proposed another one percent increase this year. But, Arizona teachers say that’s not nearly enough.

The Show recently invited three Valley teachers in to the studio to talk about their class conditions, pay and what’s next for them.

Josh Buckley is a government and economics Teacher at Red Mountain High School in Mesa and president of the Mesa Education Association; Beth Maloney is a fifth-grade teacher in a West Valley district and was the 2014 Arizona Teacher of the Year; and Michelle Doherty is a first-grade teacher at Dual-Language Teacher at Encanto School in the Osborne School District and was the 2017 Arizona Teacher of the Year.

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